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Canandaigua Hires New Head of Wine Division


Dana Nigro
Posted: October 20, 1999

Canandaigua Brands -- the beverage giant that bought California's Franciscan Estates and Simi Winery earlier this year -- has hired Jon Moramarco from Allied Domecq Wines USA as the new president and CEO of its Canandaigua Wine Company division.

The division's former head, Dan Barnett, left in early April, immediately after the company purchased Simi Winery. Robert Sands, executive vice president of Canandaigua Brands, has been acting president and CEO since then.

Since 1992, Moramarco had been president and CEO of Allied Domecq USA, formerly known as the Wine Alliance, which is the California division of the British drinks firm. It owns Clos du Bois Winery in Sonoma County, William Hill Winery and the Atlas Peak Vineyards brand in Napa Valley, and Callaway Vineyard & Winery in Temecula. He has more than 15 years of experience in the wine industry and currently serves as chairman of the American Vintners Association, a national trade organization.

Canandaigua Brands -- which has its headquarters in Fairport, N.Y., in the Finger Lakes wine region -- produces, markets and distributes beer, liquor and wines in the North America and the United Kingdom. Canandaigua Wine Company's portfolio encompasses its lower-priced wines: Almaden, Arbor Mist, Cook's, Dunnewood, Estate Cellars, Great Western, Inglenook, Marcus James, Manischewitz, Paul Masson, Mystic Cliffs, Richard's Wild Irish Rose, Widmer, Via Firenze and Vina Santa Carolina. Simi and Franciscan Estates (the higher-priced wines) fall under the Franciscan Vineyards division.

Moramarco, who will start in his new position in mid-November, will be responsible for overseeing everything from production to marketing and sales of Canandaigua's East Coast and West Coast products. He will be based out of the Canandaigua, N.Y., office. "This was a good opportunity with a great challenge," he commented on his decision. "I'm leaving a company I love, but I'm leaving a good management team there."

For recent news on Canandaigua:

  • April 22, 1999
    Canandaigua Buys Franciscan Estates in Blockbuster Deal

  • April 2, 1999
    LVMH Sells Simi to Canandaigua for $55 Million

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